NEWS BLOG from UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

UPMC-Managed ISMETT Expands Sicilian Hospital, Celebrates 20th Anniversary

ISMETT in Southern Italy recently celebrated its 20th anniversary with the opening of new cardiology and pediatric departments.ISMETT, a leading transplant center managed by UPMC in Palermo, Sicily, has recently expanded to offer more high-specialty services to children and adults.

The new additions bring ISMETT’s total to 114 beds, up from 78 in 2011 in this government-accredited research hospital.  The first Italian hospital dedicated solely to solid organ transplantation, ISMETT treats more than 30,000 patients a year with severe organ disease.

The new 10-bed pediatric department houses all single-patient rooms and a playroom, pharmacy and offices. In a separate cardiac wing, 23 additional adult beds have been added, along with a lounge and pharmacy. Space was also constructed to accommodate specialized medical equipment, including a vital-signs monitoring system and digital x-ray device.

On May 16, ISMETT officially celebrated its 20th anniversary with a ceremony attended by the mayor of Palermo, the president of the region and other top government and UPMC leaders, followed by a ribbon-cutting to officially open the new areas.

“We celebrate our past achievements as well as the bright future of this life-saving facility,” said Dr. Angelo Luca, director of ISMETT. “Thanks to investments made by the Region of Sicily and the expertise of our clinicians at ISMETT and UPMC, we are able to provide the most innovative and highly specialized therapies in the country.”  Every year, he noted, a third of the patients are admitted under urgent conditions, and about 20 percent are referred from other hospitals, suggesting that ISMETT is fully integrated into the regional health care system. (more…)

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Ron Roth Inducted to the Pittsburgh Marathon Hall of Fame

Ron Roth Inducted to the Pittsburgh Marathon Hall of FamePittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon Inc. recently inducted Dr. Ron Roth to the Pittsburgh Marathon Hall of Fame. Roth serves as the marathon medical director, and is also chief of the division of emergency medical services at UPMC.

He resumed leading medical efforts for the weekend events since the revival of the Pittsburgh Marathon in 2009.

“I am the only inductee who has run 19 marathons but never crossed the finish line,” Roth said. “There have been many changes in the way we ‘run’ the marathon, now using the medical literature to bring cutting edge medical care to our runners.  I am lucky to have an incredible team of providers from UPMC who help keep the runners safe along the course and at the finish line.”

The Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon draws athletes from all over the world and is known as one of the best U.S. marathons for medical assistance, much of this attributed to Roth and his UPMC staff.

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By the numbers: The 2017 Pittsburgh Marathon

The 2017 Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon is Sunday.

UPMC is the official medical provider for the event. The finish line medical tent and first aid stations located throughout the course will be packed with equipment and staff.

How many supplies and people will be helping the runners?

Here is a breakdown of the medical efforts from UPMC Sports Medicine, the University of Pittsburgh Department of Emergency Medicine, City of Pittsburgh Bureau of EMS, EMS agencies from Allegheny County and across the region, the American Red Cross, and more.

By the Numbers:

  • 8,000 adhesive bandages
  • 5,000 pairs of protective rubber gloves
  • 4,800 alcohol wipe 4,000 tongue depressors
  • 4,500 ice bags
  • 2,100 lancets to treat blisters
  • 475 Ace wraps
  • 600 towels
  • 500 leads (clips) for medical monitors
  • 400+ feet of intravenous tubing (nearly 1/10 of a mile)
  • 350 elastic bandages
  • 200+ tourniquets
  • 150 nausea bags
  • 120 Red Cross-donated cots (for the finish line and aid stations)
  • 125 jars of petroleum jelly (and one sign, warning runners that not every tongue depressor contains edible goo: “Don’t eat the Vaseline”)
  • 100 sheets
  • 75 flags: five for each aid station and the finish line representing weather-condition warnings – white for risk of hypothermia, green for low risk, yellow for moderate risk, red for high risk and black for emergency/leave the course
  • 65+ physicians
  • 50+ certified athletic trainers at the finish line and along the course
  • 45+ nurses
  • 30 students from graduate schools of medicine and nursing plus athletic training programs
  • 27+ ambulances from a variety of agencies
  • 16 aid stations along the course, including one start line and two Point State Park medical tents
  • 9 motorized carts carrying EMTs, paramedics and equipment
  • 7 Red Cross liaisons in local hospitals tracking injured runners, families there
  • 6-7 City of Pittsburgh EMS units
  • 6 ice-water immersion tubs
  • 4 Wet Bulb Globe Temperature Index thermometers, to measure race conditions
  • 4 medic posts at the finish line chutes
  • 1 Medical Evacuation Rehab Vehicle (MERV)
  • 1 finish line field hospital
  • 1 to 3 percent of the runners (200 to 400) are typically treated at the race – half on the course, half at the finish line
  • Weather is the No. 1 determining factor in race injuries

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How Rehab Changed the Course of One Patient’s Path

How Rehab Changed the Course of One Patient’s PathIt was 2007 and Katie Smith was a senior in nursing school. She played rugby at Penn State, soccer before that, and was working two waitressing jobs. It was late at night when she nodded off in her car. Her head bobbed, but only for a second.

Smith’s car crossed the center line. Her eyes flashed open. She was in the other lane. She veered, but overcompensated.

She was rushed to a local hospital in Buffalo, New York, where doctors worked to keep her alive. They stabilized her neck with a plate and screws. She suffered a cervical vertebra C6-C7 spinal cord injury, which doctors believed resulted from whiplash.

On Sunday, she will sit in her handcycle, adrenaline pumping as she maneuvers across Pittsburgh’s bridges and up the hill into Oakland — 26.2 miles of grueling excitement at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon. She will finish her third marathon with pride.

“The best part of the marathon is having the ability to ride in the street,” Smith said, her voice filling with passion as she relives her past two marathons. “The hills and the bridges are so cool and the support Pittsburgh provides is awesome.” (more…)

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